Cellist Joseph Gotoff is gaining recognition as a thoughtful and passionate chamber musician, scholar, and teacher. A highly versatile performer, his repertoire spans Baroque to contemporary and even popular music, and he has had the privilege of premiering several important works, including Lowell Liebermann’s Piano Trio (2013) and Binna Kim’s Shibboleth for solo cello (2016). His performances have garnered rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, who praise his “emotional intensity,” calling them “incredibly affecting.”
Joseph has toured concert halls across Europe, the United States and Canada as a chamber and orchestral musician. An ardent opera fan, he served as principal cellist for the Prague Summer Nights Festival Orchestra in 2015, performing Mozart operas at the Estates Theater and Esterhazy Palace. Currently, he serves as the principal cellist of the Unitas Ensemble, a Boston-based chamber orchestra dedicated to promoting music from South and Latin America, which released their first international album this year. In August of 2018, he will be touring across China with the award-winning Petrucci String Quartet, of which he is a founding member.
Teaching and outreach play a large role in Joseph’s musical output. He maintains a private studio in Boston, and for two years taught for El Sistema Somerville, a program designed to strength communities through training young students in classical music. Currently, Joseph is on faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, as well as Bunker Hill Community College, and teaches in the Arlington public schools.
Joseph began playing the cello at age 10, and from an early age developed a love for chamber music. In high school, he was one of the last students of the renowned cellist Orlando Cole, who encouraged him to pursue this passion. He went on to work closely with the Brentano String Quartet on the string quartet repertoire while studying evolutionary biology as an undergraduate at Princeton University. Upon graduation, Joseph pursued a Master of Music degree from Mannes College of Music with Barbara Stein-Mallow, graduating in 2013.
Now based in Boston, Joseph is completing a Doctorate in cello performance at New England Conservatory, studying with Yeesun Kim, cellist of the Borromeo String Quartet. His solo cello masterclass appearances include Paul Katz, Lluis Claret, Joel Krosnick, Gary Hoffman, Pieter Wispelwey, Hai-Ye Ni, and others. In 2014, he was awarded a fellowship from NEC as a member of the Petrucci String Quartet to study Beethoven’s string quartet manuscripts in greater detail, a project which developed into his doctoral dissertation. In collaboration with the Berlin State Library and the Moravian Museum in the Czech Republic, Mr. Gotoff has been working to create a taxonomy of articulation types in Beethoven’s autographs by developing a novel way to measure and quantify markings in digitized manuscripts.